With just four weeks left to go, my family has finally decided to brave the boarders for a flying visit to the land of Cambodia. Well, two of them did, anyway (Dad and brother).
Flexing my tour guide muscles and practicing my very best Khmer, we began our trip in Siem Reap. Taking in the temples, swimming pools and markets, I tried hard to convince my family that I am indeed ‘roughing it’ in Cambodia – nevermind that I am on first-name terms with the staff of my favourite hotel. It was great to show them everything that Siem Reap has to offer, but I did find myself secretly disappointed that they a) seemed to want to sample the local cuisine, when I am now very much craving steak, and b) as men, didn’t find the shopping in the Night Market nearly as exciting as I do.
From Siem Reap I bowed to requests for a slice of ‘the real Cambodia’, so we headed off to Sisophon for a surprisingly enjoyable three days of da-laying (aimless wandering). Without much effort at all, I got my dad to ride on the back of my moto, and with my brother following on my push-bike we were an unstoppable force. Well, that is until people decided that ‘the real Cambodia’ is in fact far too hot and sweaty, and that the locals seem to like to use chop-sticks and eat chickens eggs with fetuses in them. So we finished the holiday with some four star, $30 a night accommodation in Battambang.
Fortunately, my dad is much easier to convince to do stupid things than my mum is, so whilst in Battambang we rode the precarious – if not ingenious – Bamboo train and then took a tuk-tuk out to the Battambang Circus in the middle of a monsoon. An adventure that was well worth it, where else can you see some 15 year old boy do a handstand on top of 10 creatively stacked wooden chairs?
And now they’ve gone, and I have three weeks left. I’m glad I got to the opportunity to show-off my Cambodia, and give them an insight into what I’ll be talking about when I get home. But for now, it’s a weird feeling. A little empty, perhaps.